Grandma’s Apple Pie

posted in: Cooking, Sweets | 0

Apple Pie Finish

This is the most delicious apple pie that I ever had.  The filling is perfect and so is the crust. Flaky and delicious.  People have very different opinions of how you should make pie crust.  Some say butter while others say shortening.  Now there is the third group that says there is nothing better than a combination of butter and shortening.  You even have the folks that use oil.  I like the taste of an all butter crust and I guess my Grandmother did also.

Pie crust is very intimidating.  When I first started making pies, I tried different recipes and found that the dough is very hard to handle.  It doesn’t seem as though it is going to stay together, and sometimes it doesn’t.  When I found this recipe, I couldn’t believe how easy and delicious it is.

Pie Pastry1

Pie Pastry2

Cut the sticks of butter into cubes and let sit in the refrigerator while you are preparing the flour mixture. In a large bowl, sift the flour with salt . Add the butter cubes and cut them into the flour until it resembles course corn meal. You can do this with 2 knives or with a pastry cutter.

Pie Pastry3

Pie Pastry4

Add the ice water, one spoon at a time. Toss lightly with a fork, while shaping into a ball. You may have to get your hands in the bowl to shape the dough into a ball. It may not seem as though it will stay together, but keep working it and it will.

 

Pie Pastry5

Pie Pastry6

Cut the ball in half and flatten each half. Place one at a time on a sheet of wax paper and roll. Parchment paper will also work fine. If you dampened your work surface before you put the wax paper down, it will prevent the paper from slipping.

Roll from the center out to form a circle. Have your pie plate handy so you can measure the dough.

Pie Pastry7

Pie Pastry 8

When you have rolled it so it will fit in the bottom and sides of the pie plate, turn the wax paper over so that the dough is in the pie plate. Carefully remove the wax paper and work the dough into the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Cut the edges of the dough slightly bigger than the top rim.

 

Apple Pie Filling

Apple Pie Filling1

Apple Pie Filling2

Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. Add all ingredients and mix well. Mound in center of pie plate. Dot with butter.

 

Pie Dough 4

Apple Pie Finish

 

Here’s the recipe

 

 

Grandma’s Apple Pie

Ingredients

Pastry

2 1/2 Cups Flour

1 tsp Salt

1 Cup Butter – 2 sticks

6-9 TBSP Ice Water

 

Filling

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

1 tsp Cinnamon

¼ Cup Flour

Dash of Salt

2 ½ Lbs Cooking Apples (6-8)

2 TBSP Butter

 

Filling Instructions

Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. Add the cinnamon, flour, salt and sugar to the apples and mix well.

 

Pastry Instructions

Cut the sticks of butter into cubes and let sit in the refrigerator while you are preparing the flour mixture. In a large bowl, sift the flour with salt . Add the butter cubes and cut them into the flour until it resembles course corn meal. You can do this with 2 knives or with a pastry cutter.

Add the ice water, one spoon at a time. Toss lightly with a fork, while shaping into a ball. You may have to get your hands in the bowl to shape the dough into a ball. It may not seem as though it will stay together, but keep working it and it will.

Cut the ball in half and flatten each half. Place one at a time on a sheet of wax paper and roll. Parchment paper will also work fine. If you dampened your work surface before you put the wax paper down, it will prevent the paper from slipping.

Roll from the center out to form a circle. Have your pie plate handy so you can measure the dough. When you have rolled it so it will fit in the bottom and sides of the pie plate, turn the wax paper over so that the dough is in the pie plate. Carefully remove the wax paper and work the dough into the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Cut the edges of the dough slightly bigger than the top rim.

Fill the pie shell with the apple mixture, mounding in center of pie plate. Dot with butter.

Roll out the top dough the same way and put it over the filling of the pie. Crimp the edges either using your hands or a fork.

Cut slits in the pie for the steam to escape.

 

In a small bowl, add 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water, whisk. Brush the egg wash over the entire pastry. Bake in a 450º oven for 45 – 50 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

 

 

Download the recipe here:  grandmas-apple-pie

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Valentine’s Cookies

posted in: Cooking, Sweets | 0

Valentine Cookie PlateThese cookies are not only beautiful, but they are so delicious, but so easy for anyone to decorate.  Stripes, dots, outline, flowers.  Once you start, you’ll be hooked. 

 

I haven’t done to much decorating with a pastry bag and icing, but with a little practice, the cookies come out looking really beautiful.  Let me show you what I used and how I decorated the cookies.  First thing to remember, they don’t have to be perfect.  And, if you make a mistake, or you just don’t like what it looks like, wipe it off and start again.  You will have time before the icing hardens.  

 

 

Cookie Decorating Supplies

On the left are the supplies that I used to decorate.  Pastry bag, coupler, tips and plastic squeeze bottles.  I picked up all these supplies at my local Michael’s.  

 

On the right is a closer look at the tips that I used to decorate these cookies.  

Cookie decorating tips

 

 

Cookie Decorating examples

The first thing that you must do is practice.  See what each one of the tips will do.  I practiced going in a straight line, then I went back and forth in the line.  I also tried to create a different kind of line.  After that, I practiced making stars and small flowers.  The way you would make the stars and flowers that I used is to put the tip down on the paper, squeeze out some icing until you have the size you are looking for.  At that point, stop squeezing the icing bag and move the tip down then up to break off the icing.  

 

I used Wilton products.  If you go on their website, you will see that there are lots of tips and techniques that can be used to make all sorts of elaborate flowers, designs and pictures on cakes and cookies.  I practiced on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, but there is a practice board on the Wilton site that looks great.  

 

The icing that I used is typical Royal Icing.  There are two ways that you can make Royal Icing.  Either way is fine.  I used the meringue powder.  Royal icing gets hard pretty quickly, so if you aren’t going to use it all right away, you MUST cover it tightly or put it in a plastic ziploc bag so it will stay soft until you want to use it again.  

I divided the icing, keeping half white and the other half red.  I used red Wilton Icing color to make the icing really red. 

Royal Icing

1 Lb Confectioners Sugar

3 Egg Whites

1/2 tsp Cream of Tarter

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Royal Icing

1 Lb Confectioners Sugar

3 TBSP Meringue Powder

5 TBSP Warm Water

 

Valentine Cookie

For this one, i used an outline tip for the center, then used the edging tip to go around the outside of the small heart in white icing.  Then, using the flower tip, I filled in the middle.  For the dots, I used the outlining tip and went down and up with the decorating bag to create dots. 

Valentine Cookie1

For this one, I made a big heart in red, the edging tip to go inside the red heart, then with the outlining tip, I made a smaller red outline inside the pink cookie.  I filled it in with icing that was thinned out, then sprinkled the inside heart with red sugar.

Valentine Cookie3

This one was so easy, I outlined the pink heart. Then, I used the flower tip and went all around the edge of the cookie.

Valentine Cookie5

For this one, I put a very thin layer of red icing, then I went back over it with a thicker layer of red stripes.  Red sugar on top, and its done. 

 

I used a typical Sugar Cookie recipe to make the cookies, and used food coloring for 1/4 of the dough and rolled them out to 1/4 inch thick.   I used 2 heart cookie cutters to make the heart shapes, one medium size and one smaller.  As you can see, I kept some of the dough white, some red/pink and some multi color.  The most important thing is not to cook the cookies to long.  Just when they start to turn light brown, take them out.

 

Rolled Out Sugar Cookies

2 Eggs

2/3 Cup Shortening

2/3 Cup Soft Butter

1 1/2 Cups Sugar

3 1/2 Cups Flour

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Salt

2 tsp Vanilla

Beat eggs in a large mixer bow.   Add all remaining ingredients.  Mix on low speed until completely combined and dough forms.  Flour surface of board and turn out dough onto board.  Form a ball and divide in half.  Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.  Roll out to 1/4 inch.  Cut with cookie cutter.  Bake in 375º oven for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Valentine Cookie Dough

Valentine Cookie Dough1

Valentine Cookie Dough2

Valentine Cookie Done

Valentine Cookie Done1

Valentine Cookie Done2

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Biscotti

posted in: Cooking, Sweets | 0

Biscotti

Biscotti is delicious.  Whenever I tell people that I make biscotti, they look at me in horror because of how difficult they think it is. But, it isn’t difficult at all.  This is one of the easiest recipes that I have ever made, and it comes out perfect every time.  I didn’t create this recipe (it’s on the internet), but I have made other biscotti recipes and this is the one that I stick to.  The other thing about biscotti is the many variations that you can make. In these biscotti, I put chocolate chips and almonds and they were great.  If you are going to make a new cookie recipe this season, make biscotti.  Your family and friends will definitely be impressed.

 

Ingredients

1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil

3 Eggs

1 Cup Sugar

1 TBSP Anise Extract

3 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour

1 TBSP Baking Powder

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375º.  Grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, beat together the oil, eggs, sugar and anise extract until well blended.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.  Stir flour mixture into the egg mixture to form a heavy dough.  Divide dough into 2 pieces.  Form each piece into a roll as long as your cookie sheet and press down to 1/2 inch thickness.  

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.  Remove from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.  When the cookies are cool enough to handle, slice into 1/2-inch slices.  Place slices cut side up back onto the baking sheet.  Bake for an additional 6 to 10 minutes on each side.  Cookie slices should be lightly toasted.

 

Biscotti Variations without changing the basic recipe:

  1.  Dip 1/2 the cookie in melted chocolate
  2. 1 Cup Dried Cranberries; 1 Cup Pistachios or Almonds; 1 Cup White Chocolate pieces or chips
  3. 1 Cup Almonds; 1/2 Cup Dried Apricots
  4. 1 Cup Chocolate Chips

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Coconut Macaroons

posted in: Cooking, Sweets | 0

Cocount Macaroons

This is a recipe is not a new one. I have tried several other coconut macaroon recipes and this one is by far the best.  I make them plain or with chocolate either drizzled on top or a layer of chocolate on the bottom.  Anyway you choose, they are great.  

 

 

Ingredients

14 oz Shredded Coconut

14 oz Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 Extra Large Egg Whites

1/4 tsp salt

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325º

Mix the coconut, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until medium-firm peaks form.  Fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Drop using a 1 3/4 scoop or 2 teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet, or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until they are golden brown. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Chocolate Chip Cookies

posted in: Sweets | 0

Chocolate Chip Cookies

These chocolate chip cookies are delicious and very easy to make.  If you are looking for a quick recipe, this is it.

 

 

Ingredients

2 1/4 Cups Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Salt

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed

2 Eggs

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Cup Butter, softened

2 tsp Espresso Powder

1 Cup Nuts, Chopped

1 Cup Chocolate Chips

1 Cup Chocolate Chunks

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375º

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, soda, expresso powder and salt.  Combine.  Add the sugars, eggs, vanilla and butter.  Mix until smooth.  Stir in the nuts, chips and chocolate chunks.

Drop by teaspoonful, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden.  Remove to wire rack to cool. 

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
1 2 3